The story

Black Diamond thrives on the chemistry and compositions of saxophonists Artie Black and Hunter Diamond. They met while studying under David Baker and Tom Walsh at Indiana University. Their mutual admiration for the collaborative recordings of saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh led them to experiment with their own two-tenor palette. It quickly became apparent that the variance in their tonal and stylistic approaches created a captivating sense of balance. This dynamic has allowed them the unique compositional opportunity to write for the group in a way that is both deeply personal and instrumentally uncommon.

 In Chicago, the band has been featured in residency at Andy's Jazz Club and the The Drake Hotel. Other performances include associations with the Chicago Jazz Institute, Sounds of the City Workshop, the Anagram Series at the Elastic Arts Foundation, and the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective. In May 2017 they headlined the Gainesville Jazz Festival as part of a weeklong Florida tour.

August 2017 marks the release of Black Diamond's debut recording , "Mandala," on Shifting Paradigm Records. Featuring bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Neil Hemphill, the album contains nine original works by Black and Diamond. The title is inspired by the Vajrayana Buddhist practice of sand painting. The intent of a mandala is to form a representation of the enlightened mind through inctricate patterning of layered grains of colored sand. The music on "Mandala" represents our grains laid; our mandala composed. 

Feature 1

The Band

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan. Artie Black has been a part of Chicago's vibrant music scene since 2012.  In 2016, he and guitarist Jeff Swanson released an album of original music with their group Living Bridge on Ears & Eyes Records, and Bird is the Worm praised the recording's "fluid lyricism and abundant warmth." Artie also appears on the new Origin Records release by drummer Gustavo Cortiñas, Esse - featured in performance at the 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival.  His newest project is an apprenticeship and collaboration with Indian tabla master Sandip Burman.  Visit his website to learn more.

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan.

Artie Black has been a part of Chicago's vibrant music scene since 2012.  In 2016, he and guitarist Jeff Swanson released an album of original music with their group Living Bridge on Ears & Eyes Records, and Bird is the Worm praised the recording's "fluid lyricism and abundant warmth." Artie also appears on the new Origin Records release by drummer Gustavo Cortiñas, Esse - featured in performance at the 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival.  His newest project is an apprenticeship and collaboration with Indian tabla master Sandip Burman.  Visit his website to learn more.

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan. Chicago based bassist/composer and bandleader, Matt Ulery, has developed an instantly recognizable sound. Known for his sweeping lyricism, unconventional phrase structures, expressionistic emotionalism, Ulery’s music, from small, diverse chamber ensembles to full orchestras,  is informed by the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock, pop, and folk– specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk styles. He has been performing for 20 years on upright, electric, and brass basses. To learn more about Matt visit his website.

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan.

Chicago based bassist/composer and bandleader, Matt Ulery, has developed an instantly recognizable sound. Known for his sweeping lyricism, unconventional phrase structures, expressionistic emotionalism, Ulery’s music, from small, diverse chamber ensembles to full orchestras,  is informed by the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock, pop, and folk– specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk styles. He has been performing for 20 years on upright, electric, and brass basses. To learn more about Matt visit his website.

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan. Attending Indiana University, Hunter Diamond studied with the legendary Dr. David Baker, and saxophonist Tom Walsh. After leaving IU, Hunter toured with Sammy Figueroa (Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins) and his Grammy Experience Band, The Main Squeeze (LA), The Media Noche Quartet (LA), and headlined the Amelia Island Jazz Festival with Randy Brecker (Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Brecker Brothers). Hunter completed his Master’s in Jazz Studies from DePaul University where he studied with world-renowned drummer/educator Dana Hall, and saxophonist Scott Burns. Most recently, Hunter became a 2017 Jazz Fellow through the Luminarts organization, which provides extensive support to young artists of all fields in Chicago. Visit Hunter's website for more information.

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan.

Attending Indiana University, Hunter Diamond studied with the legendary Dr. David Baker, and saxophonist Tom Walsh. After leaving IU, Hunter toured with Sammy Figueroa (Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins) and his Grammy Experience Band, The Main Squeeze (LA), The Media Noche Quartet (LA), and headlined the Amelia Island Jazz Festival with Randy Brecker (Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Brecker Brothers).

Hunter completed his Master’s in Jazz Studies from DePaul University where he studied with world-renowned drummer/educator Dana Hall, and saxophonist Scott Burns. Most recently, Hunter became a 2017 Jazz Fellow through the Luminarts organization, which provides extensive support to young artists of all fields in Chicago. Visit Hunter's website for more information.

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan. After moving from Denver to Chicago in 2015, Neil Hemphill immediately became an in-demand drummer in Chicago's jazz and creative music community. To hear more about Neil's process, his influences, and his thoughts about jazz history and its progression, check out this interview he did with Colorado's KuvoJazz radio station.

photo by Jeremy Catledge at Rtisan.

After moving from Denver to Chicago in 2015, Neil Hemphill immediately became an in-demand drummer in Chicago's jazz and creative music community. To hear more about Neil's process, his influences, and his thoughts about jazz history and its progression, check out this interview he did with Colorado's KuvoJazz radio station.

Interview

Ep 2 of the Rtisan Podcast. Interview conducted by Jeremy Catldege. Topics: David Baker, Chicago's creative music scene, our musical and artistic influences, and more.